Firefox buttons are invisible

Posted on 2014-10-04
Last Modified: 2014-10-05
Firefox Screenshot of Firefox window
All my "action" buttons in Firefox have disappeared, but they still work. In the attached screenshot, you can see the "back" button is greyed out, and at near the top right hand side you can see the outline of a menu button that the mouse is hovering over. Plus the "Close Tab" [x] is missing. The Tooltips appear when you hover over them, so it's just the appearance.

A web search hasn't helped me find the solution, possibly because I don't know what these "action" buttons are really called :-)  

Resetting Toolbar Customisations to default hasn't helped. I'm using the default Theme/Appearance: I experimented with others, and dark backgrounds fixed it for a while, then the buttons disappeared again. I tried restarting without any add-ons, which fixed it, then re-enabled the add-ons and the buttons were still there - for a while. (I can't be any more specific than "for a while", as I've not been testing this exclusively - I tend to use keyboard shortcuts and know where the buttons are/know what they do without being able to see them properly, so it's an annoyance rather than a problem.)

Currently on Firefox 32.0.3, though the problem has existed through the last few regular updates
Running Windows 7
What else can I tell you?
Question by:tfewster
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LVL 20

Author Comment

ID: 40361163
Update: While posting this question I re-ran through the steps I'd taken. Now I've just restarted Firefox, and the buttons are visible. I can understand the Add-ons bar getting messed up, but not the "back" button, so I'll leave this question open.  But please be aware that I can't reproduce the problem at will or be certain if it's fixed
LVL 53

Accepted Solution

COBOLdinosaur earned 500 total points
ID: 40361464
It is likely that one of the addons or plugins is creating the issue.  Sometimes the addon developers get a little sloppy, and the addons are no always well vetted.  

Sometimes when a new release is installed it will catch a problem addon and disable it until there is a new release, but obviously the assessment is at a high level and not detailed testing.  There are hundreds of settings and properties that are exposed to addon developers. That is the nature of open source.  

You might try disabling the addons one at a time and then if the problem does not repeat re-add it see if the problem returns.  There is also the possibility that there is an interaction between two addons.  In any case if you identify what is creating the problem, you will probably find there are altrnative addons to do the same thing as there are very few FF addons that are unique in functionality.

LVL 20

Author Comment

ID: 40361856
Thanks CD - The "Custom Tab Width" Extension seems the most likely culprit as 1) It manipulates the interface and 2) It hasn't been updated since 2011

I should also have mentioned I run "Dexpot", a virtual desktop manager; Merely switching between desktops doesn't cause the problem to appear, but after switching to another virtual desktop and playing a full-screen game then switching back, the buttons had disappeared again. Closing and restarting Firefox brought them back.

I tend to leave the desktop PC running all the time as it's the file & print server as well, with lots of programs left open, so Firefox doesn't get restarted often

I'll close this now, and update it if I find anything more conclusive.
LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 40362664
I did a quick look on bugzilla for any FF bugs tickets from the MDN team, but I did not see anything, so it does not look like it is something that is native to the FF codebase.


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